For those of you who don’t know the term Masshole: it’s a combination of the words Massachusetts and Asshole. You know, the kind of people who tailgate you until you switch lanes, throw out the birdie if you cut them off, but have no hesitation in cutting you off, can’t complete a sentence without a curse word and who think Boston is the holy land. Massholes are proud of their reputation and take pride in this insult or should I say compliment. When you put a masshole (me) in a state like Colorado where everyone is actually genuinely nice for the sake of being nice, it is a bit of a culture shock. Therefore, I made a wicked (that’s what we say in Mass) rad (that means cool in Colorado language) list about ten things I learned after spending ten days in the colorful state.
1. Please and thank you did not die with chivalry. While ordering my typical fries and diet coke in the Burger King at Denver International Airport, I was confused whether I was the one ordering the food with the amount of pleases, thank yous and mams during this 30 second transaction.
2. Colorado doesn’t run on Dunkin Donuts. As an avid coffee drinker and bagel eater (see: cure for hangover) I actually believed that Dunkin Donuts really did fuel the world. Heck, there was even a shop called Dunkin Coffee in Barcelona. Sadly, Dunkin Donuts has no place in the organic, local coffee shops of Colorado. Fortunately, I can definitely get used to the variety of cute tea and coffee spots offered here.
3. Y’all and Rad are said frequently. Something about the term y’all makes me think of a farmer in Alabama asking his friends “Y’all wanna go square dancing after we finish this game of horseshoe?” And for all I knew, rad disappeared as fast as the hippie movement of the late ‘60s. I give myself about a month before one of these words slips out of my mouth.
4. I can’t say wicked without one person mocking me. I was born, raised and went to school in Massachusetts. I never realized how much I said wicked until everyone in Colorado so kindly reminds me.
5. People are in no rush here. The gogogo that I’m so used to has turned into woahwoahwoah slowdown. It was actually nice to sit down and enjoy my breakfast instead of stuffing my face with eggs benedict while paying my bill and thinking about my next move all at the same time.
6. Purple Mountains Majesty. I get it. I finally understand America the Beautiful. There actually are such things as purple mountains, and I saw them with my very own eyes.
7. Nature is awesome. Red rocks, clear water, mountains, lakes and streams-you name it and Colorado has it. Its inhabitants are connected with nature and understand the necessity of reducing, reusing, and recycling to save the planet.
8. Give granola bars to homeless people. My friend actually carries around granola bars in her purse to hand out to the homeless. Brilliant.
9. Thrift stores are everywhere. Who knew that Buffalo Exchange was a chain thrift store? I lived down the street from one in Boston and was so delighted to find one in Colorado. Can’t find anything? Just go a block over and five more thrift stores will appear.
10. Here comes the sun, do do do do! In my 10 days here, it rained once. I’m no scientist, but I’m going to go ahead and say sunshine makes people happier. Therefore, the more sun, the happier the people, the less assholes, the more granola bars? Something like that.